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Broad Bodied Chasers

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A very rare occurance, I've uploaded into the Critique section!! Smile

I really do want honest opinions! Not just honest opinions, but what I could have done to improve the image.

This was taken the other day, full sunlight, slight breeze and through the dreaded nettle beds. I really wanted an image of the two females (there was a male flying around too!). Can I save it now, if so how? (please feel free to Mod!)

Version 2 is one of the females on her own. The body isn't too bad, but I feel her head is soft and shows movement - Rachel says I'm being too picky..............what do you think?

Now I already know how bad they are, so don't be afraid to point out the bad bits - I know they're there.

Camera:Canon S3
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Broad Bodied Chasers
Username:KarenFB KarenFB
Uploaded:25 Jun 2008 - 3:07 PM
Tags:Broad bodied chasers, Dragonflies, Females, Insects, Wildlife / nature
Votes:Voting Disabled
Critque wantedCritique Wanted
Has Modifications Modifications Welcome (Upload a Modification)
Variant - ReportVariant - Report
Awards have been disabled on this photo

Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
BERTRAM
BERTRAM  6 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2008 - 3:28 PM

v2 is the best for me

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chuckspics
25 Jun 2008 - 3:45 PM

NUMBER 1 IS GREAT YOU CAPTURED THE ONE ON THE LEFT AND MADE IT THE MAIN FOCUS, CHUCK

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CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 7128 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece16 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jun 2008 - 3:53 PM

Like both of them, good dof inb V.1, and excellent detail in V.2. Carol

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sunshot
sunshot  9 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2008 - 4:06 PM

both shot look great both superbly detailed, v 2 is for me

marc

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CanonMan
CanonMan e2 Member 12474 forum postsCanonMan vcard England3 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jun 2008 - 5:20 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Both shots are very bright when I look at them on my monitor with a lot of blown out areas losing some of the detail. If you have exposure compensation on the S3, that would have allowed you to under expose to lose some of the brightness in the scene and retain the detail. Are you able to control apertures/shutters/ etc..., with the S3? If so, a smaller aperture would have allowed more of the second chaser to be in focus on the first pic but would have resulted in a slower shutter speed so you'd have to watch out for camera shake. Same with the 2nd pic - a bit bright on my monitor. I think your own assessment of the images is pretty good. Were they shot as JPG or RAW and have you done any processing before uploading? That might decide whether or not you'd be able to get anything out of the images with further processing.

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KarenFB
KarenFB Junior Gallery Team 84245 forum postsKarenFB vcard England161 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jun 2008 - 5:29 PM

Hi Steve, thank you for your critique. Smile

Yes, I can alter the aperture or the shutter speed - so as I understand it, I should have used a bigger F number! (Though I do depend a lot on the IS function!). The CS3 shoots in JPG and I have no say in that matter. I must admit, I did crop, adjust levels/contrast and sharpen slightly. I really must make more effort to get the shot right before I press the button!

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dawnmichelle
dawnmichelle e2 Member 7dawnmichelle vcard United States
25 Jun 2008 - 6:23 PM

wonderful captures Karen

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Wooly
Wooly  8112 forum posts England4 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jun 2008 - 6:25 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Some good advice from Steve Karen.

You could have tried to get in a better position so both dragons were the same distance from you, that would be an alternative to increasing the DOF. Using a fill flash might help but you have to be careful not to black out the background. And my personal favourite method, Stack focus, lots of fast shutter speed shots, taken at slightly different focus points then put the images together to make one super crisp image, hard work, but very effective.

Alan

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bayleaf
bayleaf  6 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2008 - 9:15 PM

I like both shots and found the critique and your response very interesting.
John

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ChrisWallace
25 Jun 2008 - 9:27 PM

I like both images, notwithstanding comments allready made. On #1 I think I would have tried a different viewpoint if possible, placing the OOF dragon more to the front but isolated. Well captured Karen

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User_Removed
User_Removed Junior Member 7 England16 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jun 2008 - 10:32 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Karen. I don't think you can do much to "rescue" V1. But it's a great opportunity to learn. There are two main issues here: focussing and exposure.
1) Focussing: the two insects are not the same distance from the camera and this differential is greater than your available depth of field. Remedy: move slightly to one side until both subjects are equi-distant from the camera. It looks like the r/h dragon is nearest, in which case moving to your left would have brought them both into the dof. Practice doing this with two static objects, and watch the focussing change in the viewfinder. I know that with wildlife there is always the fear of losing the shot, but now that you are aware of the problem the remedy can become second nature and not really take any time.
2) Your real remedy here is to use manual exposure (if your camera has this setting); It prevents the b/g or areas of extreme light or dark in the subject giving an exposure reading that is not correct for the overall subject. A good way to do this is to aim the lens at an area of grass that is in the same light as the subject and choose the aperture and shutter speed to give the correct exposure reading; then up the speed a notch (1/3 stop) to under expose. Grass has the same tonal value as 18% grey which is recognised as the standard tone from which to take a reading that will give full tonal range in the photo. Almost all my bird shots are taken 1/3 stop under exposed.( sometimes 2/3 for birds with white or very pale areas). If you have not used manual exposure before then its worth looking into, reading up on and applying to shots like this. You'll find it easiest starting in consistent dull daylight; then progress to sunshine. On days when the light is constantly changing, because of passing clouds you will tear your hair out, but it's great practice for being in rapid control of your settings and worth mastering!
Hope this helps you in the future and good luck
Andrew

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KarenFB
KarenFB Junior Gallery Team 84245 forum postsKarenFB vcard England161 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jun 2008 - 7:13 AM

Thank you all so much for your brilliant critique - I have a lot to take on board here, but hope to soon go out and practise it!!! Grin

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to focus stack unless I use a tripod and the insects stay very, very still for quite a while! My camera isn't up to such fast work!

Moving wasn't an option, as it was I was up to my knees in nettles, the path dropped off and the nettles went to about chin height!! But I do understand the advise given and will do so if I can! The females are settled on the top of a tree, it has fallen off because the squirrels have killed it. I was amazed to see two together, I thought they were territorial, but these two seemed to fly together quite happily!

Again thank you so much for your advise!! Smile

Also thank you Treebridge for your mod

Last Modified By KarenFB at 26 Jun 2008 - 7:15 AM

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Angi_Wallace
Angi_Wallace e2 Member 6172 forum postsAngi_Wallace vcard United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
26 Jun 2008 - 8:01 AM

Some very useful critique here, which will help me to learn shooting this type of subject matter too, so thanks to all the guys who took time out to give Karen advice.

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tigertimb
tigertimb  640 forum posts United Kingdom66 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jun 2008 - 9:21 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 


Quote: Some very useful critique here, which will help me to learn shooting this type of subject matter too, so thanks to all the guys who took time out to give Karen advice.

Ditto for me - I didn't know about grass having the same tonal range as 18% grey - will come in very useful in the future.
As an alternative way of rescuing the shot you could have narrowed the depth of field further instead, so the one in the background is less distinct. For my personal taste; when you have two subjects either getting both sharp is good or one sharp and one indistinct; the inbetween is the variant that I don't think works quite so well.
I've uploaded a crude mod to illustrate
Tim

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KarenFB
KarenFB Junior Gallery Team 84245 forum postsKarenFB vcard England161 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jun 2008 - 11:46 AM

Hi Tim, thank you for your mod. Yes, very clever, I see what you mean. It has made it look like the right hand one is in the background (rather than the foreground). I quite like that effect - if only the main subject were slightly better focussed! Smile

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